Where does hydrogen stand in the “fit for 55” initiative?

fit for 55 hydrogen

What exactly does the ‘fit for 55’ package consist in and what does it have to do with hydrogen? Explanations. Since July 14, there has been many talks about the planned end of the combustion engine in 2035. It will be necessary to pave the way for opportunities to develop electric vehicles (including hydrogen-powered ones). But the European Commission (based in Brussels) wants to see a 55% reduction in vehicle emissions (cars and light commercial vehicles) by 2030, compared to 2021 levels, and 100% five years later.

A steady increase in hydrogen and electric vehicles

Brussels experts explain that if the original targets of -37.5% had been maintained for 2030, the objective would have not been reached. By stepping up efforts on CO2 while stopping combustion engines (without forgetting this is about technological neutrality!), with a threshold of 0 g for 2035, the Commission is counting on a much higher adoption rate for electric vehicles. Thus, instead of 25% as initially planned in 2030, it should reach 45.3% for battery-powered vehicles. This means their share will be bigger than that of combustion engine (39.4%) and plug-in hybrids (14.3%) vehicles.

Fit for 55 package: a windfall for hydrogen?

According to the Commission the share of hydrogen would be 1% by the end of the decade. Following the ban on combustion engines, in 2035 the share of battery electrics would be 90.2%, with the remainder 9.8% made up of hydrogen vehicles. For the year 2040, Brussels experts predict a rise in hydrogen to 10.1%, with the battery largely dominating the car market at 89.9%.

Against all odds, the forecasts of the Commission report a market largely dominated by battery-powered electric in commercial vehicles. In 2030, the share of electric vehicles will be 34.7% compared with 0.7% for hydrogen. It will be 94.2% and 5.8% for 2035 and 93% and 7% for 2040.

Furthermore, let’s remind that the objective is to offer filling stations every 150 km (about 93 miles).

*A legislative package aiming at reducing CO2 emissions by 55% over the next decade. The aim is to gradually put an end to the European Union’s economic dependence on fossil fuels. This text is in line with the Paris Agreement (COP 15 of 2015) and the “Green Deal” announced by the European Commission. The objective is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Do you want to learn more about the Fit for 55 package and hydrogen? Then our 2 latest articles on the subject should interest you. You can read them here and there

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King.

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About the author

Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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